tv The Stream 2019 Ep 61 Al Jazeera April 16, 2019 10:32pm-11:00pm +03
step aside and let civilians be in charge less than a week after president of model bashir was deposed they fear nothing will be done to end oppression or the economic crisis. and egypt's parliament has approved changes the constitution that could let president abdel fatah sisi remain in power until twenty thirty the amendment now needs to be put to the public in a referendum under the proposed changes sisi could extend his current term by two years and stand for another six year term he's been in power since two thousand and fourteen after leading the military and ousting mohamed morsi well that brings you up to date with all of our top stories this hour there will be more news later on i'll see you for that about half an hour's time after the stream which starts now.
ok and you're in the stream today why do prison inmates united states come to islam i'm really glad we discussed the documentary film the honest struggle which tells the story of an exit then there's the mission to help muslim converts as they leave jail leave your comments and questions for us in the you tube shop or on twitter. reentry sometimes is a misnomer because it implies a second chance and the reality for a lot of our brothers is that they don't really have a first chance i'll begin to think the best place for me to be was back and one of them say of course is the only thing it is that you have no idea what it's like every step for me is to give it you know.
that al davis was just eighteen when he was first sent to prison seven a total of twenty five years behind bars davis converted to islam while in jail taking on the name truthful as part of an attempt to leave his previous lifestyle behind bought it in history and rebuilding a life outside the prison walls presented its own difficulties in the honest struggle david share says story returning to the chicago streets that once led him to prison and his story one of faith and overcoming hardship is not unique hundreds of thousands of inmates in the united states have found a sense of community and solace in islam was some studies estimating that muslims comprise about ten to fifteen percent of all american prisoners so what are some of the challenges that former and current inmates encounter as they navigate their
faith we're pleased to welcome city davis to the stream to help us explore that question also with us justin is a los angeles based filmmaker and the director of the honest struggle and in the u.s. state of connecticut there is an islamic scholar and senior faculty member at zaytuna college in berkeley california welcome to the stream everyone good to have you here so much city hello hello city there was a moment when you decided you were going to come but to east now tell us about that moment how did you get the. well a. real mess and a lot of what it is about what school is this what was enough well you know no matter how it is that. wasn't working. throughout the movie a fog would have been low that. maybe i would find. that is that was to. put it in a cup with the brothers and prison they begin to say in the koran.
things that. you know again this is the piece that i've never experienced before in one like. there's something about my qur'an that attracts you that drew you may know was it the brothers and cousins to us what were. three brothers. we can direct you to brother told me why it was so important to maintain what i was reading it was all cotton to look at how what is the use of be able to recognize the fact that it was inhumane and that we go out we're going to remain in progress because i didn't recognize this you know the ground. we're going to tell you because this is real people said it says what is within them who haven't written a real message i have a lesson things go in order to find out who about who it is about wars and how i was supposed to be living as a human being so we got this tweet from your o'clock here and she kind of picks up
on what you're saying there about why she sees people converting to this religion in prisons minority says islam is a religion which will forgive when perhaps the rest of the world are willing to offer you peace and answers for everything going on which makes it easier to be patient during hard times and have hope for the future so with that in mind just in the idea for this documentary in the first place i know it came to you in the form of an email or letter from a chaplain way back in two thousand and eight. yeah so in two thousand and eight i received an e-mail from a christian chaplain who was actually in charge of the muslim inmates and he was looking for muslims on the outside be you know pen pals and it was just such a stretch that he found my e-mail on the internet and i as a documentary filmmakers that immediately you know started researching the subject i just took on so many other brothers that were locked up through his network
through some of my own network and i was in touch with you know about a half dozen and then finally in two thousand and ten i discovered you mons program and i just said it was it was second to none and it was such a unique thing that i just really wanted to tell that story so just in just for the people who are tuned in today for the first time we have covered the program you're talking about with the inner city muslim action network it's called the green free entry program but in the line there can you describe what that program is. yes sure so the the green reentry program essentially identifies positive role models it within the prison that are prisoners that are coming out to give them a safe space to live and then also in addition give them green rehabilitation skills and constructions so they are rehabilitating the lapped it homes on in the south side of chicago that have been for foreclosed on and they do solar panel ing
they do you know recycled flooring and materials and kind of giving the ideas the good kind of cutting edge job skills so that way people can kind of get on their feet and become self-sufficient in moms and i want to go out something that is really relevant to what you do is from the pew research center is quite an old piece of research religion in prisons a fifty state survey of prison chaplains and then here which groups are growing and shrinking top of the list muslims who row inc or staying the same in prison why do you think that is what you think it is about islam that actually a tracks people in prison to think that that is something that might help their journey. a thing there are a number of issues first of all for a lot of people this isn't universal for a lot of people it's learned as a protest religion it's a protest against oppression as a protest against conditions that are sometimes cruel and on forgiving and for many
people the reigning religious reality is part of what's being protested and so it's not become sort of an alternative but everyone i think is that's where many people i think is universal that islam gives a person dignity by empowering that person empowering the person through literacy i know many muslims who are incarcerated the first book that they wrote cover to cover and their life was the core answer and so that's a very empowering so there are a lot of. there there are many many reasons also is to learn because it demands that you study is a it's a religion that's based on knowledge it's a knowledge base tradition and religion and that record set of studies in many instances slows a lot of brothers down for the first time as those who seen the documentary can remember said big talking about just in the street you're going you're going you
move me i think and a breakneck speed sometimes than once you are incarcerated and you have a koran that's that slows you down and once you slow down you can begin to get in touch with your true self and so there are many other reasons we commence to but i'll turn the micro but to my colleagues well the sydney keep my a lock on that sitting there some beautiful moments in the film with that moment when nothing within a mile or so left crying with you one of my i lost a lot of us a sense of self realisation he said it took you fourteen years to realise us dumb as a box of rocks so. they cover it. and then you became should not show why you were in prison as a kung vet how to exactly what i was saying to get yes yes so if you think what is dumb is a box of rocks that he became a come back and then how did that help teens actually get through the rest of your
sentence. well you know but this is the you know what i mean a real man i wouldn't come out of astral you know like i stated or you. dumb as a box the rock was when i gave it everything else the goods on folk with me by way of getting everything became very clear who are rather that i couldn't get that knowledge or because i wouldn't wouldn't to take my hand and put it behind my back you know i wouldn't relax or recognize the fact that i wasn't smart as i thought i was but then i kept looking at the fact that a could have been to mop with a kip given all the trouble that owners had been in sales. god something is not right here rob begins to rule over truly don't let that part of my life go it was replaced with something much more open much more rewarding much more to what is then that i realize and accept the fact that ok now i'm beginning to understand.
i'm beginning to see that. how it is that i've been living with contrary to what it is that i was created to do and took a product through to correct about it you know i wanted to straighten it out and feel. gangnam was an image what that looked like would be practice adults who also would set me free. and she had of course being the ventilation that it was a declaration of faith go ahead and i made. at the age of forty the revolution came to prop it more of. it's a very good. group given that in my nicky here on twitter says that the conversion often is because of a sense of community and feelings of belonging and it's important to then one's wellbeing and that is while in prison but then what happens when you get out and oftentimes that is for many people a struggle in itself which seeks this to this we just got from t.j. who says i would like to know how the director how you justin came out with the
idea on a struggle as the title of this documentary what is behind that honest struggle. first of all for credit to being creative about that title as my wife. and i had multiple titles of the film as i was working on it and my wife came up with the name sensually you know comes from the idea of truthfulness and honesty and the film is completely about his struggle so it just like popped in so you know so well and it worked perfectly to be the on the struggle being sidique struggle i think there's a moment where one of the if i could hear you and we were wondering what happens when you get out you have this community of brothers in prison and then you have to look for your community now that your comfort out so high and there was a moment where you met up with an old friend could rachelle know childhood friend and he was chit chatting and telling her about your conversion and i just want to
share with our audience as well seem from that moment to have a look coming back over here the many people who walk home movies and all the block . well we did it in the playground. coming back home black and be reminded of where is our come from is my we're trying to share with the block that i contributed to the problem. my name is a deep she deep means. so one thing it is i'm not going to do is just on a mole name that i've done my life barry. barry any way in which is that i when i had a one subject. i think is good you become the person that you are now under you know. it's in a lot. you know you turn out good it just took so long enough. so i think that is date don't shade richelle is trying on you our friend. but the
reality of finding a new community that you've never experienced tell us about that well you know through embrace islam and career. to prolong it again we the crew are going to. brother who we're told about remember that through what they want to gain. late sixty's and said we are because our brother. but haven't discovered. also reckon that the fact that network. that what your brother. you know it's given me. that is it that never experienced before the goodness of her family again this is a commitment. coming out to the streets and that's been the same thing that sort of ever was devastated you know we had
a very strong sense of. community in prison and you know if we come out of produce not experience that was very deborah to me or not i think that was one of the hardest things is that we have been kind of before my life. so much great experience and so much belief in my comic relief and the brotherhood so i had to come up with definite about that a lot more than one occasion about how we're different out on the streets and at our would be a whole lot better older christina was in prison however you know alone with death and then there are a few other brothers who i was able to maintain but it was very difficult for i wouldn't predisposition for all the can kind of now recognize that it is truly part of what i called in on this level. of thing was mention is very important and that's why the green reentry program a similar program to so important in addition to the job training there is the
still point peer support which sometimes the prison life as anyone everyone knows is very structured and islam is a very structured religion five prayers jumana friday congregation kalani meeting koran study will come to shisha in a fasting ramadan together so you put the structure of this lemon you combine that with destruction structure of incarceration that's a whole lot of structure and everyone's together almost twenty four seventh's you come out into the street and this is from my my experience working inside of the prisons and also and in a city. community member in an inner city community where we have people reintegrating back into the community that structure in many instances completely gone you might find that the morning for the badger pair were a decent number might come together that everyone is going to work this is going to
work this is going to take the kids to school this is going to do this and the other and you might get together and to dream of the private prayer and so having problems. exist so continuity in terms of that structure in terms of the support group in terms of job training to assist the process of reintegrating well the realtor rating back into society is absolutely important i'm so happy or sad that he was able to find that opportunity in the context of the green reentry program so. what you're saying that i just want to i want to chime in here because people watching this are are weighing in this is my newer and she says what returning citizens often need is a little bit of extra help when leaving prison keep themselves out of trouble she says businesses should perhaps accept a quota of former prisoners when employing and give them a chance without that routine and destruction it's easier to fall back into old
ways so someone else who's weighing in on that idea of what happens when people come home return to society is someone who works at a van the company is that the organization that you've heard our guest talk about inner city muslim action network and they're the ones that have the green reentry program that city he were part of one of the founding members of that this is a ten aisha coleman and she talks to us about what some of these returning citizens often face. i believe the main difficulties of being a returning citizen is the stigma that comes with the title of being a returning service and. people tend to judge you on your past as opposed to trying to help you really cultivate and figure out what your future is gonna look like. when you walk around with this dark cloud and it comes with not forgiving yourself for whatever mistake you may may or may not have made but i think it's really
important as a returning citizen to really see your future self to forgive yourself for your past and to look at how you can be a better person in the future so justin as the filmmaker behind this were you surprised that difficulty or is that the reason you decided to tackle this. yeah i mean it was definitely one of the reasons i decided to tackle it if you look at the statistics on reentry it's just absolutely you know disappointing and depressing frankly and i see you know organizations like you mon their contribution is so crucial. they you know kind of a following up on on the legacy of people like malcolm x. who you know when coming out of prison said you know what the first thing i want to do is try to help hold my brothers out of the situation so i think you know that was definitely a big motivator for me and to you know inspire people to take this as
a serious priority and there's a lot that we can do in order to help people that are that are really simple things one of the one of the first people that i spoke to when i was making this film was a brother name alive and he was he was from iowa and when i went out to visit him just the community had just kind of thrown into the side and he just said you know everybody's going to salami at the mosque but i just want somebody to play x. box with. you know so it was really kind of difficult to see that and. that type of statement is asian that happens to people that are coming home it's disappointing and i feel like. muslim communities can do a lot to improve that city come just looking at some photographs here from the screenings from the on a struggle i'm looking at. screenings in indiana prisons i'm just going to school for some of the public that you know just being doing this is your view to full life you have to watch the film to find out. very interesting that you look so
comfortable being a representative of what it means to convert to islam coming out of prison and then going on that journey what are you able to share with people what is your message to people as you enter this film it's more than just your story. well to begin with . if i could go in every prison in illinois i would tell them to try to get it sussed would you mind you know because the mom was responsible for me having a place to come to it was responsible for me being in amongst them serving the community practice it being about was wrong i didn't really begin this brothel and left if i had any kind of control over such a way it's not a running back. to that because i knew. that space was also a battle for the bubbles coming up so to miss the days that i would like to give to people to sort of this love is this at some point you've got to recognize the fact
that through the manifest you've got to recognize the fact that you need to be doing something different brothers all the time what credibility you got for you before you realize it is mama's available to the weight of your life over that we will have no control over of everything it is double for you realize that. is the given to you for your lifestyle but more than anything i want to continue through it so both in prison that when you come out as long as you maintain the being as know who can make people laugh alone who can sit in on a ramadan and do everything that is necessary for you to do. no matter what it is you go through you're going to be all right because the last part i want to i've never put on you much more to what is the second best. which is while on you tube right now someone is watching what you're saying and writing in if this works for inmates or former inmates and why ostracize them
a spiritual awakening is tantamount to rehabilitation of course you can do that in the live feed of the show but i actually want to play a video comment we just got on instagram from someone who talks to us about what he can do with asking a question have a listen to i came in this coming. i sound like a money machine i came home and i'm from the south side chicago and i was really inspired by the sound on the struggle and my question is how can we better reach our brothers in the streets with the message of a song on the front as well as a song from him and they don't get that one to you. well what we used to do in new haven connecticut amongst other things is we had a van we call the building with put some speakers on the roof of the van we put up a system that was powered by the cigarette lighters and we will go through the streets and pull our wherever there was a crew of brothers and we get out and we just talk to the brothers and embrace them
and encourage them and many times there will be people who want most them sometimes there are people who are muslims who would. start coming to the the mass i think we have to open the doors of the mass i think a billion porton thing in terms of what we can do is we have to be living representatives of that true. true regardless of the external situation regardless rather were ostracized or raised rather were marginalized or celebrated no matter what the external condition siddig assert something that's what do this without the rise of bob and be an example and a good example that inspiration what hope i was in who might be dueling were the difficulties the poor a man i made suitable brothers they're like who came through the prison system and no thank you so much in total on the outside it was going to stop ok and i was
a no no polities needed a speaking true fright head on the strain and i would say city is just saying thank you very much for being on the stream we cannot talk about this film without telling you where to see it and you can see it wherever you are in the world justin is in full promo mode right here so you can see it on ice chance and also if you go to the website of the on a struggle you will see it on amazon instant physio and also on ice and also a pivot chair around the world and coming soon to google play thank you very much gentlemen it's such a pleasure having you on the stream today now this show is not just thrown together we put it together with an incredible crew one of my credible quote one of a family is maddening finkel body think oh who is leaving today so many cats how do we see her let's cut to the controller and i would like that all right so let's cut to the control room so we can give maddie a big thank you and then the reality was even i guess are floating to think oh
we've all misty we love you for a much thank you for helping us make the scream see you next time without my. in the heart of the amazon the believe in family has put their lives in peril to harvest brazil not just. the. cancer in the congo to the capital is an even more dangerous challenge. risking it tool. on al-jazeera. the latest news as it breaks
while this is a training exercise the dangers are real because the situation in mali is slowly deteriorating with detailed coverage and how that is the donald tough through reason may makes it clear that the current political impasse simply can't go on from around the world while aid agencies are warning people of the dangers of cholera and distributing vaccines many are still using levels for thing and caning . in syria citizens are collecting evidence at all but i feel the shock of crimes committed against civilians you've moved out of syria in the cold six hundred thousand pages of material so that one day they can bring the assad regime to justice it puts a she will face on the charges it's a dead human face but it's a human tricks syria witnesses for the prosecution on al-jazeera.
oh i maryam namazie in london just a brief look at the top stories french president emanuel has pledged to rebuild cathedral in five years after it was severely damaged in a fire on monday evening more than eight hundred forty seven million dollars has been pledged to help build the cathedral almost nothing remains of its roof off the flames licked through its mediæval timbers and sent the wooden spire crashing into the quiet area said the rebuilt cathedral would be even more beautiful. of excel.